Best Year Ever!

Best Year Ever aYes, that’s right… we are expecting this to be the “Best Year Ever” in our home (BYE for short).  I have never been one to make silly New Years resolutions because they are always dropped within a couple weeks and nothing ever really comes of them other than regret and disappointment in yourself.  I don’t need that 😉

However, this year my husband and I came across this course called “5 Days To Your Best Year Ever” by Michael Hyatt.  He designed it for “busy, high-achievers” like me… well at least that is how I would like to think of myself.  My past is spotted with holes of unrealized goals because life just “got” in the way.  In reality I haven’t found the right thing to keep me on the right track.  I had never learned how to plan, create real goals, and I had never learned how to put those goals into workable action.  That is where this course comes in and it has been amazing.

Yes, we just started this the first of the year, so no we haven’t seen the end results yet, but after all the work we have put into this I believe it will be our BYE because we now have clear have working steps for every goal and more importantly, our reason WHY.  I will be sharing about our walk throughout the year, as well as about aspects of all of my goals I have set for myself.  Some are personal and fun, others are serious!  All are good.  I may not hit them all… but I will never reach them if I never try and I never have a plan to work.

Here are my goals for this year… of course simplified for this blog. 😉

  1.  To cultivate a stronger and more pure relationship with Jesus so I know His voice better and I will follow Him no matter what.
  2.  To cultivate a more vibrant and Godly marriage.
  3.  To pay down debt.
  4.  To get healthier.
  5.  To treat myself well.
  6.  To read more books.
  7.  To be a better mom and homeschool teacher.
  8.  To revamp my blog and write again.
  9.  To improve my hand-lettering.

Best Year Ever 1aNow of course my goals in my workbook are much more specific with great action and purpose. What I just posted is very general and if they were left that way wouldn’t get accomplished because they are ambiguous.  That is why I love this course, it gets you into the meat of the matter.

So, as I blog this year, the things in my life that fall into those categories will be on the list to share.

What changes are you making this year?  Like Michael Hyatt says, “Nothing great ever happens in the comfort zone!”

Here’s to our Best Year Ever!

Happy Anniversary!

Well life has been busy in our home due to lots of homeschooling, horse riding, drama and other extra-curricular activities that come with being a homeschool family.  Not to mention church, serving in different ministries inside and outside of our church, my personal business (Thirty-One Gifts) which I love and regular family life!

My Muppin’s school work got more intense this year and she is doing amazing.  It isn’t without it’s bumps and bruises along the way though.  I am just thankful that our fall this year has been incredibly warm and wonderful because she loves doing her work outside!

Even with all her hard work it amazing me she finds time to do some amazing things for her family… for example, most recently my and my husband’s anniversary.  She is amazing!  Let me show you why!

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As you can see she went to a lot of work to draw and write poetry for us, but that wasn’t all!  She also performed a show for us!  Below is her show program, and inside it lists her poems she wrote for us and funny clips she performed.  She truly is an inspiration in our home.  And she was fabulous!

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Here is her first poem.

“Happy Anniversary Poem”

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Happy Anniversary, mom & dad.
I’m sure you’re very happy & glad,
Cause today’s a very special day,
for you & yours,
now you’re walking through another door.

So Happy Anniversary from yours truly,
C…. E…., now that’s pretty coolly!

She is pretty amazing isn’t she!  Here is another one she wrote and performed.

“I Love My Parents!”

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I love my mom,
she’s a loving mom,
a caring mom,
a beautiful mom,
a funny mom,
the best mom…. ever…. forever.
She is a blessing!

I love my dad,
he’s a great dad,
a cool dad,
a handsome dad,
a silly dad,
the best dad…. ever…. forever.
He is a blessing!

I…. Love…. My…. PARENTS!!!!!

And if that wasn’t enough!  You know, writing poetry, performing it, drawing pictures and stuff… she also created rings for us and gave them to us to wear as a reminder of our vows 19 years ago.  She is truly a blessing and I am honored to get to be her mom!  Her heart is so full of love that I can’t wait until she get’s to be a mom someday and share that love with her kids… I mean… I can wait… lol… I can wait a LONG time! lol

19th anv 1 aPoetry is copyrighted by this blog… please do not share without permission.

STRONG… Like a Girl!

The video, #LikeAGirl, is excellent about the strength and uniqueness of being a girl!  We have all used “Like a Girl” in a negative way, time to change the way we use the words that we say because they can be damaging without us even knowing it. “Like A Girl” is a good thing!  Watch the video below!

Now the question is, are you Strong Like A Girl???

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Yes, this is my girl and she IS Strong… Like A GIRL!

Free Write Friday – Via Our Homeschooler

I love Free Write Friday (FWF) and have not done it in a while!  Kellie Elmore is an amazing writer and has a weekly writing tool for those that want to have as much fun as she does. Each week it is a different prompt and this week it is this…

This house has a story…what is it?

Image Credit: We Heart It

Our daughter saw the prompt this time and wanted to write something.  We are a homeschool family and love any new challenges she is willing to take.  So I told her if she did it, I would post it.  She wrote this in 20 minutes. So here is my 9 year old daughters take on this old house.  Thanks Kellie for inspiring even our daughter!  She hopes to have a book published soon (she has written several chapter books) and it makes this mom’s heart glad.

A  Magical Thing

Cloe and Justen jumped into the magic tree house and they sat down and waited for their next mission.  The tree house started to spin and it shook then everything went black!  Finally the black faded off and there was light.  The tree house stop spinning and shaking

Justen and Cloe climbed out.  The magic tree house disappeared.  Justen and Cloe looked around and there was a white house that was a little broken down.

“Does anybody live here?” Cloe asked.

“I don’t know but maybe that’s what we’re here for.  We are detectives you know?” Justen replied.  They climbed over the fence and hid behind a tree.  “Let’s sneak inside and find out if anyone lives here,” Justen said.  “Well,…ok.” Cloe replied.

They snuck up to the porch and Cloe looked in the window but it was too dark to see inside.  Justen creaked open the door, the wind blew and it was a little scary but Cloe and Justen kept going and went inside.  “It looks more beat down in here, “ Justen whispered. “Yeah,” Cloe replied.

They looked around and a sound came from upstairs, it sounded like a knock. “Knock, Knock!”   The sound came. “Hey, Cloe did you hear the knock.  Let’s go see what it is,” Justen said as he pulled out his flashlight and turned it on.  All that came from Cloe was a nod.  So they snuck upstairs.  There was  a long hallway and they walked down it.  At the end of the hall was door with a poster hanging on it.  The poster was so thick that it sounded like a rock banging up against the door in the wind.  Cloe and Justen walked up to it and held their flashlight to it.

It said, “Gold! Don’t come in! Gold!”  Cloe and Justen almost screamed at the same time, they opened the door.  There was a chest with a key laying on top of it.  Cloe and Justen grabbed it together and unlocked the chest.  The chest was full of gold.

Justen and Cloe’s eye’s were wide, they were speechless.  The room started to glow and a man walked in from the light and said, “I’m am awarding you with this gold.  You are one of my helpers, but I warn you.  Use it wisely,…”  He stopped for a minute then said, “I love you!”

The room glowed again and he was gone.  Cloe squealed.  They carried the chest outside, the magic tree house appeared.  They put the chest in and climbed in it.  And as the tree house started to leave, they saw the same man standing next to the house smiling.  They waved to him and he waved back.

~Muppin Schutter ©March 2014

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Summer of Service A.C.T.S.

The summer is winding down as evidence by the crazy whirlwind that my life is right now!  I have been busier than ever and it isn’t going to slow down for a few more days.  In just hours I am off to our yearly women’s retreat at our church to serve and minister to other women and to hear what God has to say to me.   As I prepare to leave I am reminded of something wonderful that begins next week.  So before I leave I wanted to share A.C.T.S. (A Call To Service) with you!  It is not for us adults.  Us mom’s know how hard we serve already.   😉    This is a program to get our kids to serve!

Why serve?

Our culture puts an extravagant amount of energy into raising kids who will grow up to feel good about themselves. In schools, clubs, homes, and even at church, adults have made a decided effort to bolster children’s “self-esteem” –not by actually encouraging kids do something that’s worthwhile, but by simply telling them they are important and valuable.

At the turn of the century, researchers predicted that the next generation would respond to these efforts of raising self-esteem by being filled with optimism and civic duty. Unfortunately, recent research shows the opposite. Kids coming of age today are more self-centered, disrespectful of authority, and depressed than ever before.

In a very real way, then, the best path toward building selfless, confident children is to help and encourage them toward a growing and thriving faith in God. And that includes obedience to what God teaches—not because it makes kids feel good, although it often does—but because they’re following God’s instructions to love Him and serve others. That builds a faith they can count on and carry with them into adulthood—which is the greatest gift any parent can bestow on their child.

Join Adventures in Odyssey this summer to discover how fun it can be to serve others!

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=dcb1346767&view=att&th=13e8ec22ea82a46c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P873rJS1u4yrBsktQqV7xgG&sadet=1368747677139&sads=s6tVvE2OvIhx3WQIqkOJHfMLY3QAdventures in Odyssey, the beloved audio series from Focus on the Family, has encouraged kids toward a stronger faith for 25 years. Whit, Connie, Eugene, and the other loveable characters from Odyssey have shared countless adventures with kids across the world in the classic audio dramas, books, videos, and devotionals, fulfilling the AIO promise to help kids discover, imagine, and grow.

This summer, Adventures in Odyssey is joining with Christian bookstores across the country, inviting kids to participate in a Summer of Service. They’re promoting the biblical message, “When you serve, everybody wins,” encouraging kids to serve their families, their communities, and their world. Whether it’s baking cookies for an elderly neighbor or putting together a care package for missionaries overseas, kids will discover that serving can be a blast!

How the A.C.T.S. (A Call to Service) challenge and contest works:

Kids who join A.C.T.S. can pick up a service log and collect fun character stickers for hours served at participating bookstores throughout the summer, or download a serving log online at whitsend.org.  At the end of the summer, kids can record and upload a short video telling how they serve and why they’d like to become an Adventures in Odyssey Ambassador.

A hundred winners will get the brand new AIO Album, and after online voting, two grand prize winners (one boy and one girl) will get to travel on an exciting Good-Goers Mission Based Adventure trip to another country with a parent!  The out-of-country destination will be announced on a live podcast May 22—hosted by AIO actors Katie Leigh (Connie) and Chris Anthony (Chris)—which you can watch at whitsend.org/acts. You don’t want to miss it!

Just to show you some love you can download a free mp3 file of the AIO Service episode, Business of Busyness as well as the free PDF download of summer service ideas for kids.   Enjoy!

What will you be doing with your kids this summer to serve?  I look forward to hearing some fun ideas!  God Bless!!!

Homeschool & Horses!

One of the things I love about homeschooling are the opportunities you might not get if you are going to a public or private school all day.  One of those things is horse riding lessons!  And yes, they are part of our homeschool curriculum, can you say life lessons about responsibility!  horse lessons 8

This was Muppin’s first lesson for riding and as you can see she is thoroughly in love already!  Right from the start she was given the opportunity to do things for herself, something that I loved.  My heart did skip a beat when she was standing next to that huge animal… she looked so small!  But she had no fear and lapped every second up.

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She got to do everything that you would need to do to be a good rider.  The only thing left to her trainer was saddling the horse, she was a bit short to do that 😉  But still, she helped with that part too.  She has a great trainer (Josie at Gillespie Performance Horses) who shows great kindness to her and the horse.  Muppin was riding by herself within in about 10 minutes and did wonderful.  I was shocked really.  She is truly a natural (in my untrained eyes of course).. and truly in love!  That is all I have heard about over the last few days, and I love it!

It is time to get out her horse unit study again and start adding to it!  Her book is getting big and so is her smile.  Do something fun with your child today in your homeschool!

The Child Training Bible (CTB) Part 2!

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It has been a couple months now that I have been using the CTB (Child Training Bible).  In simple terms, it is an amazing tool!  I must admit that I do not use it all the time.  However there is a notable difference in my Muppin’s behavior when I do!  And the only reason I don’t use it all the time is simply that I can be lazy… sigh.  I need to work on that 😉

I found out about CTB about 4 months ago and it truly intrigued me.  I mean really, use the Bible as a source of correction and growing up our kids?  Who would have ever thought of that?  Oh yeah, God!  lol  He is the most perfect parent and if we just lean on Him we can do what we need to as parents.  Anyway… I wanted one the first time I saw it.

Now the CTB takes a bit of work to put together but it is really pretty easy.  To see my thoughts on assembling the CTB click this link to my first review ~ The Child Training Bible (CTB)

When you order from CTB you don’t actually get a Bible, you get the CTB Chart Set but on that same order page there are convenient links to all the other supplies you will need as well.  You will need to get a Bible, and the Charts only fit a particular size so I recommend using the links on CTB‘s site to find one right for you.  You will also need highlighters or pens and tabs.  It is really pretty simple.

The idea behind CTB is when your child is acting in a way that isn’t Godly, such as arguing, then you go to the CTB and read to them the verses that talk about that and help them learn that they need to act differently because God created them to be different.  For a great video tutorial check it out here ~ CTB Video Tutorial.

For me, once my daughter was upset because she had been called on her attitude or whatever the situation was, it worked but didn’t have the desired affect I was hoping for.  So this is what I did.  Each day I took a section and we read the verses together in the morning, when we were both in a great mood.  We talked about them and discussed why they were good and why God wants us all to act in such a way to bring Glory to Him.  This seem to have the most influence on her.  During our time reading together she would bring up things she has done in the past that went against what we were reading and she had real remorse.  During the day she seems to stop herself quicker and she is easier to guide.

So for us this has been an amazing tool even though I had to use it slightly different than the way it is intended.  For my daughter I had to be proactive instead of just reactive.

CTB has truly been a blessing in our home.  I pray you take the time to check it out, I believe you will be blessed.  Thanks Mindy Dunn for letting the Lord work through you to create CTB.

If you have used CTB I would love to hear your feedback.  If you use something else to help bring your children into awareness of their behavior I would love to find out about that too!  God bless!

Disclaimer ~ I received the Child Training Bible Chart Set for free in order to provide you with this review.  However, all of these thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own and have been given with all honesty.  Thank you!